1. I hate that now that Melania is First Lady we will lose one of our most brilliant jewelry designers. I have a bracelet she designed in 2015. I bought it at Macy’s in 2013.
2. I hate it that there will be no more sex tapes made by 63 year old Hulk Hogan for Gawker… because I think I really nailed the audition.
3. I hate that Prince forgot to mention me in his will, considering that it was me who designed those purple sequined assless bellbottoms with fringe.
But since 2016 was dominated by politics:
4. I hate that Donald Trump will be president. It is maddening that a guy whose whole schtick is “I’m rich and I make deals” was able to fool the country into thinking he represents the working class. If we were – imagine – to ever focus on his policies rather than his insults, we’d know that his main policy is that of every Republican: cutting taxes on the wealthiest. That helps no one but those who need no help. So his supporters have already been punked.
5. Trump has never held elected office, didn’t release his tax returns, bankrupted several of his businesses and has insulted half the nation. I hate that the Democrats would dare to run a candidate who could lose to someone like him. Democrats are still desperate to blame Russia, James Comey, third party voters, the 6 million registered Democrats who stayed home or blame anyone but Hillary for being a rotten candidate. After the election, Obama said something about her campaign to the effect of “It doesn’t matter what how good your message is if you don’t get it to the right people.” She didn’t bother to campaign much in the Rust Belt where blue states flipped to Trump. Michael Moore wisely pointed out that Michigan and Wisconsin both voted for a black president named Barack Hussein Obama. So at least in those states, racism and anti-Muslim sentiment weren’t the deciding factors. Those voters desperately sought change. Many were ready to roll the dice with Bernie but once he was out, they felt they had to roll the dice with Trump because Hillary wasn’t offering change. Voting for Hillary wasn’t even picking up the dice. She was offering a continuation of Obama’s policies which weren’t working for far too many. So when playing the blame game, Democrats need to point to the mirror. Any honest Democrat would have won to Trump in by a landslide. It was actually Hillary’s strategy to elevate Trump among the other GOP candidates, since she thought she could beat him easily. Again – where was her alleged capability when her team made that fatal assessment. Embolden the worst case scenario for the country and then have it backfire?
6. I hate that our news media has turned into TMZ and in so doing, helped Trump by giving him more airtime than any other candidate. Anytime you put a microphone up to the mouth of a jackass, he’s going to spout gibberish. And Trump excels at commanding the media. But this was largely an issue-free campaign. Are email scandals, insulting Miss Universe 20 years ago or pussy-grabbing going to impact anyone’s lives in a year? The media was happy to rake in ratings by babbling endlessly about nonsense Trump said, while barely covering Bernie Sanders at all. If Bernie was talking about income inequality, the issue which affects most of us the most, the news would turn away and say “He’s just giving his standard stump speech.” Right – the stump speech which championed benefitting the vast majority of us with universal health care and affordable college. If our news media doesn’t inform us, they ain’t news. Sanders was getting rallies larger than Trump’s without making salacious comments, but by talking about issues. So our news actually suppressed the issues. Corporate media has a corporate agenda. Which is why I shy away from trusting any news with ads. DemocracyNow.org is fantastic and I prefer to contribute to them than watch paid pundits who barely cover things like the Dakota Pipeline – that coverage might chase away ad dollars from big oil. Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman actually went there for a week on her limited budget.
7. I hate that the Trump was able to seem like the party of the working class because the Democrats, once the party of workers and unions, have turned into neoliberals who work for corporations and war. Obama’s Nobel peace prize is a joke. The main difference between the two parties now are social issues like abortion and gay rights. Those are important to me, but if both parties represent Wall Street which crashed the economy and the housing market, then we desperately need more choices.
8. As a lifelong Democrat who campaigned for and donated to Obama, I hate that I’m now without a party. Obama proved that corrupt DC good ol’ boys come in all colors. As we discuss the flaws of the electoral college, let’s go ahead and discuss the flaws of the super delegates who are nothing but lobbyists and the retired politicians who want to maintain this system of bribery. Iceland’s political system allows new parties to spring up to address the needs of the people. One brand new party just did spring up and won because it spoke to people’s current needs, not ancient affiliations, favors and corruption.
9. I hate that Obama spent the last two years trying to send US jobs overseas with the TPP trade deal. On one hand, the news loves to report each time there modest job growth. But if he truly wanted to create jobs, why push this deal in secret which was written by corporations to send 1/2 million jobs overseas? Everyone hated me for blasting him on this, but it turned out to be a major campaign issue for people in the Rust Belt whose lives were still hopeless after Bill Clinton’s NAFTA trade deal killed 1 million manufacturing jobs. If you live in a big city and need work, you can do anything from walk dogs to style hair to drive an Uber. But out in these communities which are shells after their factories shut down which was once their lifeblood, they are without hope, hooked on opiates, committing suicide and for the first time, kid’s life expectancy is lower than their parents. And the one job they can alway get is in the military, where they may die, lose a limb, come home with PTSD or become homeless. That’s truly desperate!
10. I hate that Hillary and the DNC conspired to cheat Bernie Sanders, who was a once in a lifetime candidate. If you asked Central Casting to send you a presidential-looking actor, never in a million years would they send a grumpy, old socialist Jew from a granola state like Vermont. Yet Bernie resonated with working people, across racial and color lines, and Hillary sought to destroy that so that she could continue to serve corporations and war rather than the vast majority of us. I hate it even more that Bernie endorsed Hillary. He said he would all along, and kept his word. Now he’s the big man on campus for the Democrats. I think he could have won if he had busted out as an Independent and ran – why keep his word to back the Democratic nominee after the DNC and Hillary conspired to cheat him? I believe we do need a revolution, and Bernie endorsed the very candidate whose failed policies we need to revolt against. I’m not without hope, but unless we’re brutally honest about the ugly seeds sewn in 2016, watch out for the even uglier fruit they will surely bear.
I finally stopped performing Trans-Jester! – and am taking it to London’s Soho Theatre from Feb 14-25 and LA’s Casita Del Campo from March 16-18. And the Razz Room in New Hope, PA for one night on 1/28.
I’m currently working on a ton of tunes with various producers. Here is a Latin-tinged track I co-wrote and sang for a Rhodes To Rio EP to coincide with the Olympics.
The last thing I hate about 2016 is that the oiled up flag bearer from Tonga for the Olympics opening ceremony never responded to any of my many love letters!